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Aromatherapy

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I’d be lying if I told you that on almost every mall trip, I haven’t been drawn into a cosmetic store– Bath and Body Works, Lush, places of the sort– simply because the aroma lured me in.  Lotion, all natural face masks, bath bombs, shampoos, and lip scrubs galore can drive customers to spend far more than they intend to.  But what is it that gives these enticing cosmetics their addictive qualities? Not necessarily the items themselves, (as amazing as bubblegum lip scrub and apple pie lotion may sound) but rather their scent.  Our sense of smell is far more powerful than we think, as it is very closely linked to parts of the brain that process emotion and feelings.  Essentially, what enters our nostrils can dictate our mood.

Essential oils are hydrophobic liquids composed of different plants giving each a distinct aroma.  Oils are used in various cultures for all sorts of reasons, including natural medicine and household cleaning, but I personally use essential oils for aromatherapy, the practice of using different plant extracts to improve psychological and physical well-being, with a primary focus on managing stress and anxiety levels.  

Essential oils promote a healthier and happier lifestyle, but each one does so in its own way;  I will be sharing a few of my favorites.

Peppermint, for example, will boost your concentration, helping you stay awake.  Rubbing a drop on your temples can relieve pressure and stimulate clear thinking.  Another one of my favorites is Citrus Fresh, with its enticing aroma of oranges and lemons.  This oil promotes mental alertness and accuracy, easing feelings of anxiousness and reducing anxiety levels.  Frankincense reminds me of black licorice, though it is often described as a smoky yet sweet aroma.  This oil also balances emotions and relaxes your muscles.  The familiar aroma of Lavender helps control emotional stress, while Rosemary fights physical exhaustion; a whiff of this combined with Citrus Fresh is sure to cleanse you of your morning blues.  

I began using essential oils as a sophomore and noticed a dramatic decrease in my stress and anxiety levels, so much so that I invested in a diffuser, which breaks down the oil into micro molecules, forming a mist, which is then projected into the air, filling the atmosphere with the respective aroma.  Elizabeth Strattner, junior, is a firm believer in the power of essential oils, as she says “Sometimes it just helps to breathe it in and have a second of calmness before continuing your work.”  

If you are looking for a new way to manage your stress, lower your anxiety levels, and potentially live a happier lifestyle, I highly recommend incorporating essential oils into your daily routine.  The ones listed above I find particularly effective in managing stress as a high school student.  But there are over 90 oils, each with their own mental and physical health benefits, meaning there are enough to satisfy anyone’s individual needs.  

Essential oils provide users not only with a luxurious cosmetic experience but also act as an aid in keeping calm and relaxed when times get hectic.  Aromatherapy allows the scent to enter your body and take over your mind.

This article was edited by Zoe Roskin.

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Aromatherapy